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MIDWEST COMPUTER GENEALOGISTS 


_ NEWSLETTER _ 

www.mcqenealoqists.org 

Volume XXIV March, 2020 Number 3 


MCG’S REVIVED WEBSITE 

With the shift away from live monthly meetings, it 
seemed a good time to resurrect the MCG website. 
The fonner site was no longer being maintained 
and its host site no longer in business. Julia Morse 
has set up a new site with the same 
MCGenealogists.org address. 

As there are currently no live group gatherings, the 
website is a “place” for members and visitors to 
interact and contribute. Some of the posts have a 
place where comments can be left, and you can 
also email back your ideas, thoughts, and 
contributions at MCGenealogists@gmail.com. 

Some of the features of the new site include: 

(1) An archive of MCG monthly newsletters. You 
can download them as PDF or text, or even have 
Internet Archive’s read them aloud to you. 

(2) Highlights of the latest news and articles from 
MCG, encouraging you in your family history 
discovery and preservation. 

(3) A page with links to favorite free family 
research sites. (You can email us your own 
suggestions.) 

(4) Links and news on historical documents and 
narratives which we are uploading to Internet 
Archive’s online library. 

(5) The ability for you to sign up for email 
notifications of new articles posted to the site. 

(6) The ability for you to search the MCG website. 

(7) A contact page and opportunity to leave a 
public comment for some articles. 

Like the newsletter, content of the website focuses 
on computer-based genealogy discovery, historical 
context, and inspiration for preserving and sharing 
your family history. We are always looking for 
new contributions or suggestions. Articles on your 


favorite genealogy search tools, appropriate family 
history stories, or other related submissions are 
welcomed! Do you have a favorite historical 
photo that others would enjoy seeing? This is your 
community and it takes more than a few people to 
make it happen. (Our newsletters will continue to 
be posted monthly on www.foxwoodsprings.org, 
the Foxwood residents’ website, thanks to our 
Webmaster, Del Sherwood.) 

THE PRESIDENT'S CORNER 

A1 Morse 

In mid to late 1980's my wife, Dorothy Jean 
(Newcomb) Morse, and I went to her parents’ farm 
to see her mother, Dorothy (McDaniel) Newcomb. 
The farm was located in Bates County, Missouri, a 
little east of Foster. Her mother had dementia, and 
it was later confirmed as Alzheimer's disease. On 
January 3, 1990, she was admitted to the nursing 
home in Prescott, Linn County, Kansas. We would 
travel to see her on Sunday afternoons. The trip 
there was about 90 miles from our house in 
Independence, Missouri. 

Occasionally, we would stop to visit Dorothy 
Jean's cousin, Shirley (West) Tippie, and her 
husband, Billy. They lived about 5 miles west of 
Rich Hill, Bates County, Missouri. They had 5 
acres, 3 V 2 of them were on the west side of a 
gravel country road and 1 V 2 acres on the east side 
of the road. On the west side, they lived in a house 
built by Billy. The land on the east side was 
vacant, except for a big walnut tree next to the 
road and a mimosa tree. Shirley would plant a 
garden on the land. The land on the east side was 
bordered on 3 sides by the Peabody Wildlife Area. 
One day, I announced, or complained, about the 
distance we were traveling, and Billy commented 


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that he might be willing to sell the 1 Vi acres if the 
right people came by. This property was less than 
20 miles from the nursing home. We got the land 
by paying to have rural water brought a half mile 
to their property. Of course, we had water made 
available on the east side of the road as well. This 
was 1991. 

In 1992, we built a 30 foot by 30 foot garage. 
Since Billy had built his own house and a garage, 
he was able, with my limited help, to build the 
garage. We had the intent to build the house, but 
decided that we should look for a double wide 
home. So we started looking. We were to retire in 
1994. We bought a nice double wide and it was 
delivered and installed in October, 1994. We 
moved in. A nice big deck was added to the back 
of the house, and, eventually, a front porch was 
added. 

We put in a big garden every summer. This is 
where we really got into canning. We bought a 
pressure canner to can green beans. We used an 
old hot-water canner that my mother, Mildred 
Catherine (Janssens) Morse had used, to do all of 
the other canning. We canned jellies, jams, 
tomatoes, sauces, pickles, and relishes. We also 
planted 12 apple trees, 3 pear trees, 2 plum trees, 2 
peach trees, 3 grape vines, a strawberry patch, 6 or 
8 blueberry bushes, 6 thornless blackberry bushes, 
black raspberry bushes, gooseberry bushes, 2 
elderberry bushes, and other strange fruit trees or 
bushes that did not succeed. We also had flower 
gardens, flowering bushes, and shade trees. 

We loved living there. We had our son’s dog, 
Chief. He was a great dog in the country. We had 
two indoor cats. We enjoyed going mushroom 
hunting in the spring. Neither one of us had ever 
done that, but we learned. We had some very 
successful years picking morels. We enjoyed our 
walks, especially in the Peabody Wildlife Area. 
We saw birds that we had never seen before, such 
as bluebirds and Baltimore orioles. We had deer 
and turkeys go through our yard as well as 
raccoons, opossums, skunks, and other critters. We 
enjoyed watching flocks of geese gather in the 
fields near our house in the fall. From the fall of 


2000 to 2004, our oldest son, Brian, attended 
Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis. 
We would make 2 trips a year to visit him. We 
enjoyed those trips and did some sightseeing. 

Since we were now closer to the nursing home, we 
had the opportunity to go and visit, although 
Dorothy's mother's health kept getting worse. She 
no longer recognized us or could visit with us. 
Dorothy would go over there and play the piano. 
She and I would sing. We also got involved in a 
bible study once a month with the residents. 
Dorothy's mother died on June 10, 1999, after 
being there nine and a half years. We continued 
going over to do bible study each month. 

We also saw heartache. Billy and Shirley were in a 
terrible car wreck in 2001 and Shirley died. We 
remained close to Billy and helped him as he had a 
long recovery. We also each had cancer surgeries. 
We had those in Research Hospital in Kansas City. 
We had kept our house in Independence because 
we kept going to our doctors in the city. Dorothy 
had open heart surgery in February, 2004. We 
made the decision that we needed to move back to 
Independence. We put the country house up for 
sale and started moving things back to the city. We 
moved back in November. The house in the 
country did sell in February, 2005. Many times we 
would look at the pictures we took down in the 
country. She even took some of those photos to 
paint pictures of them on canvas. 

MCG’S NEW ONLINE LIBRARY AT 
INTERNET ARCHIVE 

In addition to relaunching the MCG website , 
mcgenealogists.org, Julia Morse has now set up for 
us an MCG library space at Internet Archive. You 
may view it directly at 
https//archive.org/details/@mcgenealogists or link 
to it from the MCGenealogists.org website. This is 
the same digital archives which libraries around 
the world, (such as the Library of Congress and 
Allen County Public Library Genealogy 
Collection), use to share and preserve their digital 
collections. 


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We foresee the following purposes of our online 
library: 

(1) To preserve MCG newsletters and documents 
for future generations (even after MCG might 
cease to exist in the future). 

(2) To increase searchable access to MCG 
documents for worldwide researchers. 

(3) To professionally present MCG documents in 
multiple accessible formats, including formats for 
the visually-impaired, or those who would wish 
easy text-to-speech audio. 

(4) To provide easy access for members to 
contribute their own unique documents to be 
accessible in this world library. 

We have just begun uploading past newsletters. 
The process is slow, as we are providing 
searchable subjects and summary information for 
the catalog as we upload—so if you are looking for 
past newsletters, come back again to check for 
more! We also intend to contribute some unique 
historical documents and transcripts. 

FIFTEEN “UNCOMMON” 
COMPUTER-BASED WAYS TO DISCOVER 
MORE ABOUT YOUR ANCESTORS 

Julia Morse 

Genealogist Lisa Lisson of the blog "Are You My 
Cousin?" (https://lisalisson.com/) has recently 
published a series of 31 short YouTube videos on 
"Uncommon" avenues for learning more about 
your family history. You can explore all the videos 
at her playlist, entitled "31 Days of Uncommon 
Genealogy Tips," at: 

https://www. youtube. com/playlist?list=PLdwcCRg 
mrNMxkF0-J2mFWLHe4v4ucsYlv. Be sure to 
check out the description area beneath her videos 
for the related text blog post, where you can find 
links to key sites described in the video. Her first 
web blog post on this series begins here: 
https://lisalisson.com/volunteer-3 1 -days- 
genealogy-tips/ 

From Lisa's 31 tips, I summarize here with my 
own comments fifteen tips which are applicable to 
computer-based genealogy: 


(1) Volunteer. Some volunteering, such as 
transcribing records or support for a local history 
organization, can be done over the computer. 
Strategic volunteering gives you access to people 
and resources in your location or historical interest, 
so can pay back toward your own family history 
research in multiple ways. I will address this in a 
future article (or you can see Lisa's video for her 
own thoughts). 

(2) Explore genealogy wikis to leam from others. 
(Just search on "genealogy wiki.") 

(3) Explore society and community news pages in 
small and rural newspapers. Understand what was 
going on in the region and time that may have 
impacted your ancestors. Small-town newspapers 
often included frequent news about visitors and 
travelling which can help confirm family ties, 
provide links to lost family, and detail the 
closeness of association of friends and family. 

(4) Explore and research religious periodicals. 
These can be searched out on Archive.org, Google 
Books, historical libraries, and sometimes from the 
denominational archives and colleges. I was able 
to solve a decades-long mystery of a missing 
Missouri pioneer brother by stumbling on an 1849 
West Virginia church academy publication that 
included an article about his death. Solving this 
mystery also gave us deeper insight into the 
religious commitment and educational background 
of our pre-Civil War Miller family in Bates 
County, Missouri. 

(5) Join a Facebook group dedicated to genealogy, 
surname-based groups, or in geographic regions of 
interest. Get to know others, get insight, and reach 
out for help. 

(6) Learn more about DNA. Using DNA for 
genealogy research is complicated and can be 
daunting, but there are great videos on YouTube 
that will help you learn more. Lisa recommends 
the "Family History Fanatics" videos on DNA as a 
good starting place. 

(7) Use your ancestor's occupation to guide your 
search. Occupation gives insight decisions that the 
family made when moving. Some occupations 
leave specific record trails that could be explored: 
pastors, government positions and appointments, 
business advertisements, etc. I finally figured out 
what Great Grandpa Peter Y. Morse was doing 


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during his brief time in Osceola, Missouri when I 
found an advertisement for his undertaking and 
carpentry business in the 1866 newspaper. For 
family names that are very common names or 
words (and thus difficult to search), searching on 
words associated with the occupation can 
sometimes help refine your search to get you to the 
articles of interest. 

(8) School records are increasingly becoming 
available at Archive.org and digitized historical 
libraries. School records are sometimes noted in 
small-town and rural newspapers. More likely 
avenues are accomplished by contacting the local 
historical society or library about possible physical 
archive records which have not been digitized. 

(9) War of 1812 Pension Records are being 
digitized on Fold3. Lisa states that these records 
are free to view without a subscription. They 
provide birthplace, death place, spouse, and 
occupation. (There are only about 75% done, so 
not all there yet, but a lot are.) 

(10) Explore the mortality schedules of the 1850- 
1880 census. These are the individuals who died 
in the 12 months prior to the census. You can find 
what they died of and a general date range, 
whether they were single, married, or widowed at 
the time of death. Mortality schedules are usually 
available at the same place where you access 
census records. 

(11) Examine other "non-population schedules" of 
the censuses. For example, there is an agricultural 
schedule which gives highly specific in formation 
on ancestor farms, such as livestock numbers and 
acreage. Similarly, there is a manufacturer's 
schedule. "DDD" schedule lists ancestors with 
handicaps. "Slave schedules" provide insight for 
families in the slave states. 

(12) Explore ArchiveGrid 
(https://researchworks.oclc. org / archivegrid/) to 
find out what archives might house historical 
documents in your regions of interest. You can 
contact archivists for infonnation of ways they 
might be able to help you access key information. 

(13) Explore https://www.worldcat.org/ to see if 
there are books at libraries around the world that 
house something of interest to your family name- 
books that may not yet digitized at Archive,org, 
Google Books, or Hathitrust Digital Library 


https://www.hathitrust.org/). WorldCat will list 
libraries where physical or microfilm copies of the 
publications are housed. Sometimes books can be 
obtained free through your local library with 
interlibrary loan. 

(14) Use Flicker photo-sharing site. Many 
libraries and archives are posting photographs. 
You may or may not find photos of your own 
ancestral families, but certainly historical 
photographs in regions, and aerial maps. It is also 
possible for you to post your own historical family 
photos for others to find—which sometimes also 
brings you into connection to distant cousins with 
documents and family stories. 

(15) Seek out maps online. Use Google 
StreetView to see what that area looks like today. 
Sometimes the buildings where your ancestors 
lived are still there, and you can see what it looks 
like! Look for military maps to learn about the 
movements of the battles. Sanborn Fire Insurance 
Maps at the Library of Congress, 
https://www.loc.gov/collections/sanborn- 
maps/about-this-collection/, have rich information 
on city and towns, including specific business 
locations types of building construction, in the 
latter 1800's and early 1900's. Lisa also 
recommends exploring the Dave Rumsey Map 
Collection, https://www.davidrumsey.com/, where 
you can search and freely download maps by 
pressing the "EXPORT" option. 

Many thanks to Lisa Lisson for originating these 
recommendations. You can check out more at her 
blog, https://lisalisson.com 


WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH 

Marjorie Slavens 

March is Women’s History Month, and what better 
subject could I find about whom I should write 
than my mother, Mildred Marie Welty Slavens 
(1910-2008)? Mother was bom December 2, 1910 
in Westport, Missouri. Her parents, Edward 
Alonzo Welty (1884-1954) and Hattie Lee Kerr 
Welty (1889-1979), were both born in Jasper 


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County, Missouri. They were married February 10, 
1907 at the home of her parents, a hotel which they 
owned in Medoc, Missouri. (Medoc is one of those 
little towns which has disappeared, except for a 
church and a cemetery.) Edward Welty was a 
Railway Mail Clerk on the Kansas City Southern 
route from Kansas City to Silome Springs, 
Arkansas for many years. Mother was the oldest of 
their 5 children, Edward Charles (1913-2010), 
Helen Virginia (Olson, 1915-2001), Kathryn 
Elizabeth (Farr, 1918-2009), and Evelyn Dolores 
(Stewart, 1920-2020). The family moved from 
Westport to Kansas City Kansas in 2014, believing 
that the Kansas educational system would be better 
for their children. All of the children graduated 
from high school in Kansas City, and mother 
attended a teacher training program for the KCK 
schools for two years, finishing the course work 
but not completing her student teaching. During 
World War II, she wanted to teach on a temporary 
certificate because there was a need for teachers 
during the war, but my father was absolutely 
opposed to this work because he believed that only 
he should work to support his family. 

In June, 1930, Mother was visiting her 
grandparents, Charles and Millie Kerr, in Asbury, 
Missouri, when she met my father, Ralph 
Westmeier Slavens (1907-83), who was working 
in the mines and living with his grandmother, 
Laura Hesler. They were married in KCK October 
12, 1930. They lived briefly in Asbury, then with 
his parents in Oklahoma, then with her parents in 
Kansas City during their first year of marriage, but 
they returned to Oklahoma to live for 8 years 
following the birth of my brother, Everett, in 
October, 1931. My sister, Beverly, and I were bom 
in Shidler, Oklahoma, and our sister, Carol, was 
bom in Joplin, Missouri. Although my father 
continued to work there, there were many financial 
problems for them in the 1930s, as there were for 
many people. He went to work for the National 
Lead Company on April 1, 1940 in Baxter Springs, 
Kansas, where he received his first regular pay 
check. He retired from that company in 1972. We 
lived in Shidler, Oklahoma, Pittsburg, Kansas, 
Columbus, Kansas, Carl Junction, Missouri, and 
moved to Fredericktown, Missouri in 1945. 


Mother first thought about her family history when 
she interviewed her father about his parents in the 
early 1950s. He told her very little about his 
family; Weltys, typically did not talk a great deal. 
After her children were grown in the 1970s, she 
started investigating the family history. Her sisters 
said, “Mildred, you are the oldest, so you should 
write our family history”. She first did research at 
the St. Louis Public Library, and she also spent as 
much time as possible at the Mid-Continent 
Library in Independence when she was visiting her 
daughter, Carol, in Blue Springs. She moved to 
Blue Springs in 1990 and spent a great deal more 
time at that Library. Carol and I went on a number 
of research trips with her to court houses, libraries, 
cemeteries, genealogical societies, and more and 
more cemeteries in Missouri, Illinois, Ohio, 
Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia. My sister 
used to see a cemetery along the road and ask her, 
“Mother, there is a cemetery; do you think we 
should stop to see if we have anyone there?” 
Having a laptop and a GPS would have been 
helpful during those years. 

When she began her family research. Mother knew 
nothing about most of her ancesters beyond her 
own grandparents. Federal and state Census 
records were very helpful in tracing the family 
back from members whom she knew. Her father 
told her about the family of his mother, Catharine 
Mary Eppright Welty, but he told her nothing 
about his mother’s family, although he knew his 
grandparents, uncles and aunts. She had a family 
Bible that belonged to her great grandfather, John 
Kerr, and she was able to trace some of her 
grandfathers 13 sibblings by John Kerr’s first two 
wives through this record. In addition to her visits 
to so many places, she maintained correspondence 
with family members throughout the country. Once 
she learned to use the Internet, her correspondence 
increased. She had many requests for her books, 
and she sold and mailed them them to many people 
for the basic cost of the copies. She used such sites 
as Ancestry.com, Fold3, Genealogy.com, Family 
Search, and Gencircles and contributed 
information to these sites as well. 


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Mother published family books on her Welty, 
Eppright, Kerr, Heape, and Crawford families, 
some of which had 2 or 3 editions. I gave her a 
computer for her 86 th birthday, and she had to learn 
to use it herself because I did not live here, and my 
sister worked and could only help her occasionally. 
She also had unpublished manuscripts on her 
Miller, Brumbaugh, Adams, Tefertiller lines and 
some family lines related to ours, as well as 
manuscripts on my father’s Slavens, Parks, Hesler, 
Westmeier, and Gilman lines. I have used all of 
this material from time to time in the MCG 
Newsletter. When Mother fell two weeks before 
her death on June 30, 2008, she was working on 
the third edition of her Eppright book. I 
interviewed her several times on the family history 
and her genealogical research, and members of the 
family both have family books and copies of these 
videos. 

EDITORIAL:PRESERVATION OF MCG 
Marjorie Slavens 

In November, the MCG decided to discontinue our 
genealogy activity together because we could not 
find a Program Chair for our meetings. However, 
MCG is experiencing a great new “Renaissance”, 
primarily because of the efforts and dedication of 
Julia Morse, who has spoken at our MCG meetings 
several times about her genealogical research 
concerning the Morse family and its history before 
and since the Morse family found its way to Bates 
County, Missouri. 

Julia Morse is an amateur computer genealogist 
and a volunteer schoolhouse teacher interpreter for 
the Yesteryear Museum of Safina, Kansas. 
Professionally, she is a Certified Manufacturing 
Engineer and Associate Professor at Kansas State 
University. She certainly has a full-time job, 
different from those of us who postponed our 
genealogical research until after we retired, Julia is 
doing this genealogical work while she is still 
working full-time.She has invested a great deal of 
time creating our new website and posting 
newsletters on Archive.com. 


Julia writes, “Glad you feel good about it! You 
can probably tell that I have had a great time 
working on the website. It is a great brain-break 
for me, and I have additionally learned a lot 
already by uploading the newsletters to Internet 
Archive, researching on digitization and archiving 
options, etc. I feel good that I am making progress 
on my own genealogy-related goals by working on 
this! 

One thing you might add to the newsletter: Please 
encourage readers, when they visit the site, to sign 
up for email updates. (There is a link in the middle 
of the home page.) That way we can keep thoughts 
and ideas going a bit between the 
newsletters—perhaps people going to the website 
more regularly”. 

Go to mcgenealogists.org to see the various 
options for participation in MCG that Julia has 
provided on this site. We welcome comments, 
suggestions, contributions, articles, etc. Through 
this site, we can continue to share our genealogical 
research with others, and, perhaps, we will make 
some new contacts with other family researchers 
that we have not yet met either in person or on the 
net. 

OFFICERS 

A1 Morse, President 

Byron Gilbreath, Treasurer 

Marjorie Slavens , Newsletter Editor 

Julia Morse, Website Administrator & Digital 

Librarian 


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